want to discuss using a light for laying...or not.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by muell112, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. muell112

    muell112 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2009
    Bangor, ME
    My hens are laying less now that it's getting darker for longer and I'm wondering what you guys do in the winter - do you have a light on for them to stimulate production? Or do you let them take a break during the winter? Will they lay longer over the their life time if they take the winters off? What about their bones...is it good to not provide light during the winter? A general discussion would be awesome and thanks in advance...
  2. meriruka

    meriruka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    I have a tiny night light in the barn, only because they crash around in the dark & I'm afraid of injury.
    I've had production Reds as well as heritage birds. The production reds only lived 2-3 years
    (they laid every day) , the heritage birds seldom lay in the winter and 4 out of 7 days in the summer, they are still healthy
    & past the three year mark. So, I'm convinced laying every day wears them out.
  3. staceyl

    staceyl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2009
    I haven't lighted and we are pretty far north. Sun is only out about 7 am - 4:30 PM. Yesterday was the first day that I've gotten NO eggs out of three hens, but I didn't find that terribly surprising since the day before they all laid around 3 pm. Unless I get a lot more days of no eggs I won't bother with a light.
    Mine are still pullets though. Maybe that makes a difference? My plan is to add a couple each spring so I always have pullets. But you know what they say about the best laid plans....
  4. Bothered Birds

    Bothered Birds New Egg

    Apr 6, 2009
    Columbia, SC
    I use a light on a timer - turns off at 9:00 each night. My girls lay like they did before the time change. They have always done this untill it get really cold. oh, I am in SC so it is still pretty warm here.
  5. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    I take the all natural approach on this one. I allow for less eggs. I just take it into consideration and get more hens than I really need and save up a few eggs for hard times. To me it just screams,"NO!!"
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I don't add light. My girls took a break while molting, but I have a winter hardy breed and they are also known for being good winter layers. They went back to laying as soon as their molt was complete. I'm averaging 9 eggs a day right now.
    Also, my coop is designed to take advantage of any available natural light.
    Next year, being their third year, I expect them to slow down and I will be adding new birds to pick up the slack.
    IMO, allowing my chickens to live as natural a life as possible has resulted in a healthy, hardy flock.
  7. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    I understand they are born with only so many eggs in them and once those are laid they are done. So I just let nature work the way it was intended to. I figure my girls would welcome the break. [​IMG]
  8. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Quote:+1 - no lights for my girls. Sure, I miss the eggs, but I don't like to mess with nature/lighting.
  9. wombat

    wombat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2009
    Quote:Sort of ... a hen's ovary has millions of follicles, some of which will mature to ovums over the life of the hen. Eventually hens get too old for this process to occur, but they don't "run out" of follicles.
  10. muell112

    muell112 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2009
    Bangor, ME
    Interesting, thanks! I think I am going to go the no light route (I have a very small LED light by the waterer so they can see it if they need some). I know my easter eggers are molting (I've gotten no eggs from them for a few weeks now and they have new pin feathers coming in...I'm averaging 4-6 eggs right now (15 hens - also includes mottled houdans, cochins, faverolles, welsummer, buttercup) whereas I was getting as many as 11 earlier this fall. They were born in May.

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